Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Story

I've had a couple of people wondering about my "remarriage" to the Baldyman. So, I thought I would share our story. We got married March 11, 1978 for the first time. We met in High School, when I was just coming out of a horrible home life and placed in foster care. I was young ,scared and pretty confused. I was in my art class and next thing I knew--he was sittin in front of me. He bugged and bugged me. Tried to humor me, but I was weary of anyone, at that point in my life--I hadnt been around to many people that were nice to me. I would catch the bus to take back to my place of living and one day he met me at the bus stop and asked if i wanted a ride home. I said no--he wouldnt leave so i got in. Well, we pretty much been together ever since. I got pregnant with our oldest son when I was 19,,we planned our little tiny wedding within 6 weeks. We ended up having 5 children, 3 sons and then twin girls. I cant even begin to describe how I felt, having those girls after 3 wild and crazy sons. It was a nice ending. Our marriage was rocky from the start.
My having come from a pretty messed up birth family and his family had their share of issues that baldyman struggled with to. Most people who knew us and still do--always thought he and I were great "friends". And I guess we were. Thats probably ultimately what saved us in the end. Despite him being such a difficult husband, we were basically always friendly to each other, and we also had 1 huge thing between us that both of us valued more than anything---and that was our 5 kids. Baldyman struggled with many things--to much to really get into--but it really affected our trust between each other and our financial life. I always knew someday--somehow we were going to end up in a place where it wasnt very pretty and it would affect us to the end of our days.
At the age of 40, I woke up one day and knew I was done. I was done living how we were living. Our kids were old enough that i felt I could leave and not abandon their needs. It was what I felt, my time to force a permanent change for both of us--or at least myself. I was tired of hurting, I was tired of struggling, I was tired of the lie we were living. To make a long story short--when I left--I left with basically the clothing that i had..I didnt even have a vehicle. I went into Low-Incoming housing, and slept for almost 3 months. I went into intensive therapy--thru that located a job and just kept on moving forward. For the first time in all my years--20 years--i was able to buy things like pajamas, things for my children that I wasnt able to, my bills were being paid on time, and I was able to secure my very own first credit card. I got my very first own car at the age of 40 from my church. I continued working--Baldyman got into counseling himself. During this time--we remained friendly and looked after our kids together. I went back home in 9 months. It wasnt as bad--but still not healthy. I left again about 1 year later. This time,,I knew I had to complete my journey of change. I filed for divorce and went thru with it. We continued to remain freindly, doing family things together. We ended up losing our home--and along with that--every hope and dream of financial choices that could have come out of that home. It was a huge hit financially but, it was what was needed to be done. I felt like it was the final nail in the coffin of 20+ years of bad choices and selfishness on his part. At first I was angry,,,,but over time I've let it go. I had to, or I couldnt have remarried him. I got to a point where I had to put my priorities in place and I knew God wanted me to restore my marriage and show my children that despite huge losses--much pain, you can forgive and repair. Many other things happenned during our 2nd years of living apart--I did date and see if that was where I wanted to go. I learned I didnt. I continued working and building on my credit and I cannot tell you--how exciting it was to be able to provide myself and my children things we just were never able to have. Everything during the first 20 years of my marriage that I got--came at a huge price. If I bought anything--I would suffer in other areas--and I really learned to no longer want or need anything. I built up a savings account, and it was really fun to be able to have a life.

We made the decision to move back together about 6 years ago. We remarried 4 years ago now. While its not perfect--its healthy. While I may never own a home again--I'm ok with that. God provided us with a brand new house --that we rent. We've been here 6 years and I love it. We treat it as our own,,,we have learned to live day by day--I dont lose sleep over the fact that it may be put up for sale and I would have to move...I cant. I have to trust that if that happens--God will provide where he wants us to live. I would love to buy it--and add a sunporch and other things I have dreamed of--but that remains to be seen. I've continued working and saving and building on my credit. Thats all I can do.

Our children have seen us work hard at repairing life--both as individuals and as a couple. I hope we've taught them no matter how hard marriage is--it can be matter what. I also hope we taught them that life isnt greener on the other side--and that God does want us to fight hard to keep a family intact. It worked for us--I realize it isnt the answer for everyone. I wont say its been easy--its been nightmarishly hard and painful. Each of us did things that hurt each other to no end. When we lived apart--I felt like i was "owed" so I did things to that caused lifelong pain. BUT...we each learned to let it go. Move forward. If I hadnt remarried him I would have remained single..because like baldyman each of us has always said--our kids were "our" kids and we only wanted to be married once. I joke that if he dies before me--i will have a "love" partner--but NEVER marriage again...and I joke that my intent was to be married only once and here I am married twice--but he feels like it dosnt count because its to the same person. We were able to marry on the exact same day as our first marriage. Our 2nd marriage all 5 of our children were present--the twins were our witnesses. Our 2 grandaughters were present also. We went our for pizza and that was it! Its not perfect like I said--and at times some old patterns have crept into place and we deal with it. I have to keep telling myself--its better--not perfect but better and thats important. To many times we want perfection-we want it all..and sometimes we cant have it all. I cannot lie and say I have the best husband and I'm spoiled rotten. I can say I have a pretty good one and spoils me at times--but we are still learning. We really both came with alot of baggage from our childhoods and its not been easy to shake it off. I'm tellin you--when you are raised very poorly--sometimes its just so difficult to ever rid of those skeletons. I always say for me--I will walk with a lifelong limp..I think that applies to him also. Some things are just that damaging.

Well thats my story...I hope I didnt bore anyone, so here we are at the ages of 50 and 51--embarking on our 31st year of "marriage".

I had to come back because I did some more thinking and feel I need to add some of the biggest "marriage lessons" I've learned. For one, you simply cannot harbor anger, you have got to let it go, period. There cant be the game of who hurt the most, who did the most...etc. Pain inflicts each of us in different ways, that is why, quite simply, some of us can live through what others could not. You cant judge, it is what it is and we need to honor and recognize how our actions affect our spouses. While we may not understand how it could be so painful to our loved one--if they say it is--it is, honor that.

One of the biggest life lessons for me and I think baldyman would be--NOTHING--NOTHING--NOTHING--ever comes good out of a Bar hoppin life. I grew up in a world and family of alcoholic and bar hoppers. It all started out fun--and ALWAYS, ALWAYS ended up bad. To this day I bet my life--many marriages could be saved if people would stay out of the bar life. Drinking destroys many things--so much suffering has been caused by that legal "drug". The key is moderation--and doing it together and learning when to go home! My husband and I both enjoy a few drinks here and there--we both know the devastation alcohol has caused us from our birth families, I cant stress enough to our young marrieds--Stay away from the bar scene--go out as a couple, come home EARLY as a couple.

You can survive anything in a marriage if you really want it to work. You can survive cheating, abuse, financial devastation..anything. The key is letting go-stop keeping count of the pain. I learned thru losing our home--its a home..a building..there is a huge difference in a HOME and a House..I prefer a home now...i have no use for buildings. The happiest I've been is in this house--which we dont own.

I have to end this--repeating myself, if your a young couple and pass on thru...truly, commit yourself to your marriage, your home and children and God. So many things in our world today go against the family, the marriage. Go back to what you fell in love with, work hard on protecting your coupleship and dont let outside things intrude. When your out without your spouse-make sure your actions show respect and honor for your marriage and family. Some of the things we did to each other--that the person never saw...makes me sad today. I try to make sure now all I do--honors my partner. I refuse absolutely refuse to allow the alcohol to permeate my life like it did my parents. Most of my entire life pain, came from that bottle. Something legal--but so devastating.

16 Thanks for your comments!:

Lilly's Life said...

I think this is a truly wonderful, honest and amazing story. I applaud you. Truly. I think more of us should tell our stories like they are and give hope to others. I also love your grounded attitude. You just let it all go and are living the best way you know how in great faith. This story could be published in a magazine. Thank you for sharing and I just want to tell you that you really inspired me and I only live 12,000 miles away!!! I will forever remember these words, 'despite huge losses--much pain, you can forgive and repair.'

HektikLyfe said...

This is the most inspiration story I have read this year! Bravo! I am one of those "young couples" and will most definitely heed your advice. Again, wow!

Have you considered trying to publish your story?

Iris said...

Great advice! And I loved your story. It sounds so real. Now when you want to read about couples, you can go to the media and everything is so "perfect." Your story is the true meaning of a perfect marriage, because you both came to the conclusion that there is hope in repairing marriage, no matter who has done what to hurt the other. Especially, when there are children involved. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

squawmama said...

This is a wonderful story... It made me have so much more respect for you... To spill your guts like that takes a lot of corage and to me you are becomming the pillar of strenght... It is best to put things behind you and live for the moment...Grab all the happiness you can my dear friend... you deservce it..


Ginger said...

Hi Dawn:
Thanks for sharing your story, it makes me feel like I know you a little better, even though we have never met. I can relate to some of your problems, as I too was married to an alcoholic for 13 years. Not only did he drink, but he was very abusive, and I finally was able to leave him (with just the clothes on my back). It was so hard with 4 kids. But my life got better thanks to my current hubby.
When you stop to think about life...we are only here for a short time, and you just have to do the best you can with what you have. It sounds like you are really on the road to recovery.
Take care of yourself.

Dawnie said...

I appreciate your comments, all of them. Life IS short, so its very true that we have the best time here that we can and that our lives have meaning and value. I tell you, I dont mind going thru any pain of life--as long as something good comes out of it. Does that make sense? Like, if 1 of my children can learn to fight hard when their marriage feels like its dying and they can stick it out..all my suffering was worth while. And my childhood--it stunk to put it lightly, BUT I've been able to use so much of it in my work that truly I dont ever sit in a pity pot. I dont ever think why me?--I know why me and I run with it.

Anonymous said...

This was a great read, Dawn. Thanks for sharing your great advice. We need more people like you in this world, more people to respect the concept of marriage/family like you do.

countrygirl3031 said...

Hi Dawn...thanks for stopping by my blog. It's very nice to meet you! I know exactly where Key Lime Resort is because I work in Illinois right close to there.

Take care and stop by often!


Sand Flat Farm said...

Wow, Dawnie - what a story. What a first post for me to read on your blog. I'm sorry for you and your hubby to have to go through such pain, but I'm extremely proud of you both that you have put your lives back together - together, just as God intended. One man for one woman for life. What a ministry you two can have and what good examples for your kids. God bless you both as you continue to grow together. Vickie

Judy said...

What a beautiful story. You have such a wonderful attitude your have. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you both many many years of happiness.

Magnolia Street Style said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I haven't had a chance to read all of your postings, but this one is very powerful. The older I get and more I listen to people speak of their lives, the more I realize there is no "perfect" family. All we can do is do the best we can each day. I have known too many people that were here yesterday and gone today. So we must Live and Love for today. You are blessed with a wonderful family that loves you.


Nancy said...

Dawnie, I am sitting here in tears!!! You need to repost this on Valentines Day! I know you have poured your heart out to us! I don't think I could have told every thing you did...I admire you for that!!! Nancy

Stacey said...

Wow thank you for sharing your story. You really have been tested and you are a wonderful example. Excellent advice to the young marrieds. I hope a lot of people see this. :)

Sarah Jane said...

Thanks for telling your story so candidly.
I was referred to this blog by Hektiklyfe, a friend of mine. I'm glad he recommended this to read. I have been married for 3.5 years but we lived together and had our first kid before getting married, so it feels much longer.
I can relate to your story in lots of ways.

just a little bit shabby said...

What a warm and honest story you tell. Thanks for sharing even though it may be painful there is also a great cleansing of the soul by opening up and pouring out your heart. I wish you continued happiness in all you do.

Meadowsweet Days said...

Hi Dawn,
Thank you for sharing your story. Most of us can relate in part to your journey in some way. I applaud your courage, and maybe, just maybe it was that advice that will save some reader's marriage, maybe even their life. Thank you.
I will be happy to share my "secret sauce" recipe, it really is no secret, just added that for interest :) I will look for your email.